On Saturday at Baccalaureate – before the keys-locked-in-the-car escapade – I was thinking about this year’s graduating class and the post-collegiate world in front of them, the world I am still very much in the midst of figuring out. If I’ve learned anything from the people and experiences I’ve encountered since graduation it’s that it is so easy to put our dreams on hold, just for now, and get swept up in the world of getting-by until we are in a better position to pursue our dreams. Donald Miller says it best in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years when he talks about getting stuck in the middle of a journey:
“I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shores anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead of them are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.”
I’ve met so many people over the past two years who are in a perpetual middle who never intended to be there. People who started out as everyone does, just trying to get a job and make ends meet, but then days turned into months turned into years and the ambitions of the past and opportunities of the future faded away into a day-to-day middle. Call me naive, but before my foray into “real life” I honestly had no idea that the working world was filled with so many unfulfilled workers! Not to over-spiritualize this matter, but I feel like sometimes the achievable dreams God has placed in our hearts are stolen by our unwanted but seemingly necessary here-and-now situations. The dreary known is safer than the better/worse/similar unknown.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has been on my mind as I’ve been thinking over all of these thoughts. Don’t consider me more intellectual than I am; Goethe is not usually hanging out in my head and he’s rarely my go-to guy for advice, but one quote of his has been ringing in my ears for days:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
How encouraging is that? Sometimes for me it’s the simple, common sense encouragement that gives me just the kick-start I needed. So, that’s what I’m trying to do: begin. With this blog, with these pictures, with the beautiful life God has given me in general. It’s easier said than done, but it’s infinitely better than being stuck in the middle.
Comment it up below, peeps: What can you do, or dream you can? What do you want to begin?